of course, i yet again attempt to sort out what the heck is wrong with me. why i can’t move forward in life. for years, i’ve written about removing all about me that is artificial and pretentious, and for years, i’ve successfully managed to avoid getting to know who i really am.
i think that for starters, i fail so many times to move forward, because i fail to develop my core self, and spend a lot of time addressing my symptomatic self, or my ego, if you will. my core self changes at the pace of rock being worn by water and wind, and said water and wind being all the little workout regimes and attempts to become a better person. sometimes, i even use fire, though i’ve gotten smarter about that as i get older. anything that looks like a quick fix is going to be too good to be true.
you can change a rock quickly, though, if you drill down into it and insert some dynamite. but, if you keep blasting away at the surface, it will probably take you awhile to change that rock.
back to speaking without metaphors, it is also helpful to note how little i believe anymore that my core self is pure, saintly, noble–a blank slate.
early, early memories see me losing my temper and getting frustrated when i couldn’t have my way. they see me making fun of those with disabilities, and weird kids. perhaps i was born with this nastiness about me.
the point is that for way too long i’ve envisioned me simply stripping myself of all the bad habits and mean character traits that have supposedly accrued since i was a beautiful, divine child of light. when, in reality, i was very much a nice, normal kid with a nasty dark side–like i am today.
in order to change this, i have to see it for what it really is–my core self is where i start, and my core self has elements about it that aren’t pretty. my core self is also rather unchanged in terms of having developed good social skills and strong character for interacting well with others. while i’ve built a nice ego shelf or shell around it, and attempted to perfect my ego, my core self has remained rather unchanged.
final insight is that of the triumvirate: my core self, my public-facing self (strictly how others see and remember me), my imagined self (comprised of both core and public-facing, but imaginary). maybe freud or someone divides these up slightly differently, but my triumvirate works for me for this insight.
the insight is obviously around how the three never align. it has come as a shock (both good and bad) too many times to learn just how other people remember me. i’ll think that i’m in the middle of a dynamic phase of growth and professional excellence, only to be told that i’ve been perceived by many as a complete asshole toward others. other times, i’ll think that i must surely be loathed and looked down upon by others, only to discover surprisingly that they think highly of me, or even more crushingly, they simply weren’t that impressed one way or the other by me.
all of this comes from trying to improve my imaginary self–who i fantasize myself to be, both at my core and in my interactions with others. i might experience brief spells of great success, and fool some of the people (myself included) for awhile, but eventually, the core comes crashing through the facade and demands that i pay attention to him.
pieces of the core, i think, have not been developed at all, while many of those about me have carefully crafted their cores their entire lives.
bottom line: no next steps in self improvement can happen, be they going to church or joining some new group, or going to a psychiatrist–none can happen until i’ve done a better job of aligning the triumvirate, and realizing it consciously for an extended period of time–then, sustainable personal development will occur.